Artificial intelligence in cyberbullying

As technology develops, more people find ways on how to make it more useful and utilize its benefits for the welfare of other people. Often, people successfully find their way around such technology for the wrong reasons.

Cases of cyberbullying are also prevalent especially in social media where people could hide behind their computer screens. What sometimes seems like harmless jokes to some people may hurt others and affect their mental well-being.

The Numbers

Nowadays, social media platforms are starting to undertake measures to prevent cyberbullying. In 2016, 16.9 percent of middle school and high school students identified themselves as victims of cyberbullying. Meanwhile, among adolescents, more females are attacked online than males.

In 2014, researchers from the School of Social Work at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles studied that most cyberbullying activities happen on Facebook and through text messaging. In the same study, 6.6 percent reported being a victim while 5 percent are perpetrators. In another study, adolescents who cyberbully were deemed popular by their peers.

The data shows cyberbullying by gender in 2016, which presents that more females are victims than males. Data from the Cyberbullying Research Center, Sameer Hinduja, and Justin Patchin

Social Media – The Modern Heroes

In June 2016, Facebook introduced “Deeptext,” which is a deep learning-based text understanding engine that can understand with near-human accuracy the textual content of several thousand posts per second. Instagram is using the same to prevent cyberbullying in their platform. They first used Deeptext in October 2016 to detect and eliminate spam, and in June 2017 they started utilizing it to filter offensive comments.

Also in 2016 Twitter added a muting feature in its notification settings for mentions. The option allows users to mute phrases, words, and conversations they do not want to receive notifications about from the app. Together with adding such, they also improved their internal tools and system to better deal with reports in a faster and more transparent process.

These measures prove that social media is keen on the issues surrounding their users and that they work on new methods for the current issue of cyberbullying and mental health issues. It also shows that technology applies to almost everything these days, even to resolving problems.